Max Ernst

Max Ernst, “Naissance d’une Galaxie (Birth of a Galaxy)”, Oil on Canvas, 1969, Beyeler Foundation, Riehen, Switzerland

Closely associated with Surrealism and Dada, Max Ernst made paintings, sculptures, and prints depicting fantastic, nightmarish images that often made reference to anxieties originating in childhood. Ernst demonstrated a profound interest in Freudian psychoanalysis, which is apparent in his exploration of Automatism and his invention of the Frottage technique.

The artist’s psychoanalytic leanings are evident in his iconic 1923 work “Pietà”, or “Revolution by Night”, in which Ernst substitutes the image of Mary cradling the body of Christ with a depiction of the artist himself held by his father. Much of the artist’s work defied societal norms, Christian morality, and the aesthetic standards of Western academic art.

Max Ernst painted “Birth of a Galaxy” in Paris during his second French period.

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